Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reading Envy Podcast Episode 014: Flannery O'Connor with Zombies

Scott and Jenny are joined by Jason Roland, who Jenny knows from the Goodreads group On the Southern Literary Trail.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 014

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Book selections:

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon
The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl
Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key #1) by Joe Hill
I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down: Collected Stories by William Gay
How to Be Both by Ali Smith

Books mentioned otherwise:
Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zura Neale Hurston
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Smonk by Tom Franklin
The Walking Dead  (series)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Zone One by Colson Whitehead
Once the Shore by Paul Yoon
The Isle of Youth: Stories by Laura van den Berg
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan (series)
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (series)
Horns by Joe Hill
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Fifth Head of Cerebrus by Gene Wolfe
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel
Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Follow Jason on Twitter!

More stalking:
Jenny at GoodReads
Scott at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter
Scott on Twitter
Scott on his blog

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jenny's Library Books October Edition

For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard
Always Apprentices: the Believer Book of Even More Writers Talking to Writers
To Show and to Tell by Phillip Lopae
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
An American Childhood by Annie Dillard 
Firebird by Mark Doty
Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty
How to be Both by Ali Smith
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee

I previously mentioned that I am auditing a class on creative non-fiction, and my stack of books is a clear reflection of that!  I needed to re-read how David Foster Wallace writes about tornadoes, and I was trying out Mark Doty for a muse but went with Annie Dillard (for a class assignment. I liked Doty but he was too death-based for my current family situation!).  Always Apprentices came up in passing in one of the readings for the class, and the Lopate is assigned reading as well.

The bottom three books are from the Booker shortlist! I did finish the Flanagan before he won the prize this year.  I did not end up finishing the Mukherjee and returned it to the library.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Reading Envy Podcast 013: The Secret Central Force

Josh and terpkristin joined Jenny to discuss the second most popular book group on Goodreads - the Sword and Laser Book Club, with over 20,000 members. Both of them were members from the beginning - before it moved to GoodReads from Ning, before a podcast was associated with it. We talk about what it's like to be in an online book club, our favorite books we read because of it, and more.

This is the first of three episodes we will have about book clubs in 2014.

First a bit more about our guests!

terpkristin can be found in Goodreads or Twitter.  Josh can be followed in Twitter or Goodreads, but really would love a visit to his website: Nom a Song.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy Episode 013

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Books mentioned:
Dawn by Octavia Butler
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe
Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish
Memoirs Found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Orphan's Tales by Catherynne M. Valente
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Other mentions:
Tom Merritt
Veronica Belmont
Sword and Laser Book Club on Goodreads (open to anyone)
Sword and Laser Book List
Sword and Laser Podcast
Borderlands Books
The Sword & The Laser - song collaboration between The Clive Royal Project (aldenoneil / Barry O'Neil) and The New Old Men (Josh and his friend Karl Eifrig):

Sword & Laser Theme song

Sword & Laser Theme song future variation

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jenny's Books Added September 2014

September was a great month for books I actually spent real money on, buying first editions of books just as they were released.  Actually TOO many authors I like came out with new books in September, so I didn't even get to them all.

I have been waiting for new books from David Mitchell and Darin Bradley for what seems like years. And then I read the hardcover of Chimpanzee and the author sent me the audio play that he handed out at his release party.  (It is now available on the publisher site, and should be on Audible soon too.) I am saving it for my trip to Tennessee on Friday. SOON.

Blameless, Book Lust, and Siddhartha all come from Paperbackswap, although Book 2 of the Parasol Protectorate was lost in the mail and I need to find another copy of it before I can read Blameless.  Book Lust I've read before but this is part of my attempt to create a "books on books" collection. Librarian? Guilty. Siddhartha is just one of the many titles from Penguin Classics that I only want because they are pretty. Surely it is also a reputable book that I would like to read.

The Vietnamese Market Cookbook is a review copy, and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes in there (although I need to go to my local Asian market first!).  The two Burroughs and the Bloom were $1 each at a local thrift store.  I'm thinking I'll read them and trade them as they are in good shape!

I have a few other digital review copies up my sleeve so I'll list them below as well.

Blameless by Gail Carriger
Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
Love Invents Us by Amy Bloom
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Chimpanzee by Darin Bradley
Chimpanzee by Darin Bradley (audio version)
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Vietnamese Market Cookbook by Tran and Vu

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood (audio)
The Dog by Joseph O'Neill (audio)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Time Travel: David Mitchell Reading

In March earlier this year, I was very lucky to be able to go see David Mitchell read from Cloud Atlas and speak about his upcoming (at the time) novel.  I kept meaning to blog about it, and here I am, two weeks after devouring The Bone Clocks and still thinking fondly of this author.  It's time to share that experience.

Because of a generous endowment, the University of South Carolina has a spring author series called The Open Book.  They bring in five authors, many of them huge names.  On the Monday of that week someone from the university or some other scholar gives a lecture, and on Wednesday, the author appears.  I can't drive all the way to Columbia from Greenville more than once in a week, so I sadly have to miss the lectures, but the authors are highly worth it.  (I'm sad at the thought of not getting to see Nikky Finney lecture on the poet this next spring, so I might make an exception to drive down twice that week.) David Mitchell came in March, and was the only author I got to see this last spring.  Next spring, I am better planning my weeks to work around the occasional Wednesday afternoon.

One thing I want to say about David Mitchell is that he is SO charming and friendly. Sometimes I regret going to see an author speak, because their reality is so far from my expectations or beliefs about them. He was friendlier and had an obvious love of the writing and the reading that had gotten him there. He was also excited about his upcoming book and answered some questions about it too.

I discovered a colleague after the talk, while those of us wanting our books signed stayed behind. I stayed back in line with him because he had more books than anyone. This meant I heard David Mitchell talking for two hours by the time I spoke to him, and when I did, I accidentally did it in an accent similar to his own. This happens to me sometimes. Whoops. He asked my name for the first book, I said Jenny, and he said, "My Grandmother's name is Jennifer," and whatever I said in response made him perk up and ask if I was English. I apologized and said that just happens. Ha.

I brought two books along to be signed - Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.   He signed and drew pictures, so lovely! It was a great author visit, and I wish I could see him after reading The Bone Clocks, because I have questions.  Hopefully one of these days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reading Envy Episode 012: Some Bookers and Some Madness

Jenny and Scott have been busy reading lately and decided to do another podcast in the corner of the Reading Envy pub!  Jenny has been knee deep in the Booker Prize longlist while Scott has been reading with a bit more variety.

Orfeo by Richard Powers
When Angels Wept: A What If History of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Eric G. Swedin
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
62% More Awesome by Dave Kellett

Also mentioned:
Man Booker Prize
Sidewise Award for Alternate History 
Stories We Tell
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
The Star by Arthur C. Clarke
Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
Scotiabank Giller Prize (Canada)
National Book Award (USA)
Sheldon Comics
Pure Ducky Goodness by Dave Kellett
The Good, the Bad, & the Pugly by Dave Kellett
Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953 by Dave Kellett
Coffee: It's What's for Dinner by Dave Kellett

ALA Banned Books Week - Classics

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy Episode 012

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner

Or subscribe via iTunes by clicking: Subscribe

Monday, September 15, 2014

Scott's Books Added, September 2014


Bought some books this weekend!

Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke
I've enjoyed all of James Lee Burke that I've read to date. All of them have been Robicheaux books - well written, dark, violent stories about Dave Robicheaux, a cop (ex-cop?) in Louisiana. He's an author who can write beautiful prose. When I bought this one, I thought it was standalone, but Goodreads says it's Book 1 of a series called The Holland Family. I'm 100 pages in, I'm enjoying it but am not ready to call it terrific yet. Not like any Burke I've read to date so far.

Don Quixote by Cervantes
I've been wanting to read this for a long time. Barnes and Noble has these classics - if you buy 2 you get one free. My daughter got Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Wells, I got Don Quixote.

Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
Recommended to me by Bryan Alexander, I found this one online and it arrived this weekend. The first paragraph of the description:
The act of reading is a miracle. Every new reader's brain possesses the extraordinary capacity to rearrange itself beyond its original abilities in order to understand written symbols. But how does the brain learn to read? As world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist and scholar of reading Maryanne Wolf explains in this impassioned book, we taught our brain to read only a few thousand years ago, and in the process changed the intellectual evolution of our species.

Analog, November 2014
Next up is the latest issue of Analog Science Fiction Magazine. I recently subscribed again - in print - but my copies haven't started arriving yet. Robert R. Chase has one in here, and the cover story looks interesting.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
I looked for this at the bookstore because Orson Scott Card mentioned it in a column. Mark Lawrence is a research scientist in the Artificial Intelligence field, and this is a fantasy - I think. From what Card said, I expect blurred genre lines. I read the first two pages in the bookstore and was hooked. Love his style.

On the shelf they go!